The tecemotide vaccine used in the study targets the protein MUC1. This protein typically binds pathogens before they can infect the cell with the help of killer T-lymphocytes. The vaccine helps to lower the defenses of tumor cells and boost the immune system's natural process of stopping tumor formation. When cancer tumors form, cells proliferate at an uncontrolled pace. The cells become mutated causing proteins to be over-expressed and normal tumor defense mechanisms (such as apoptosis) are absent. Cancer cells can then be immune to chemotherapy drugs and the body's natural defense mechanisms. The vaccine aimed to change this.
stage III, surgery on the tumor can no longer be performed. Even those who detect the cancer during the first stage, chances are only 49% will survive. Also, treatments like chemotherapy weaken the immune system. Therefore, normal treatment in conjunction with this promising new tecemotide vaccine can possibly reduce the number of tumors than with traditional treatment alone.
The longterm goal for researching cancer is to find a cure, not just treatments. The closer we get through new and innovative ways of prevention and treatment, the more clues biologists obtain in order to answer the many mysteries of oncological science. Since the dawn of cellular and oncological research, improvements in survival rates have been significant. The 5-year relative survival rate for all cancer diagnosed from 2003-2009 was recorded at 68% - a 19% increase in about 30 years. This improvement is a direct result of gaining knowledge from research in treatment as well as early detection. The more we know, the better off all people are. Therefore, keep asking questions, keep researching, and we can find a cure. "Because everyone deserves a lifetime."
Original Article: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/lung-cancer-vaccine-development-regains-hope
Posted by: Nicole Boisvert (7)